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Mystery vs. magic

Much of my recent reading has focused on how to find ways to deal with the losing of religion while still maintaining the sense of wonder that seems to my eyes to be perhaps the greatest aspect of faith. I have resolutely refused to retreat into mystery because this seems to me to be just a way of avoiding the difficult questions. But the refusal of an explanation is not really a solution, and I wasn't really sure why I objected so much until I sat down with my 9-year-old daughter and

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The strange disciple

My favourite story from the gospels is that of the strange disciple. He found himself at loggerheads with the disciples, because he was casting out demons in the saviour's name, but wasn't part of the inner circle. They told him to stop, but Jesus told them to leave him alone. "He that is not against us is for us," was his verdict. I find this very encouraging, though no doubt theologians of all flavours are aghast at the woolly thinking behind it. No doctrine. No dogma.

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